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Case Number: Writ Petition No. 6309 of 2003
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Case Number: Writ Petition No. 6309 of 2003

Date of filing: 2003/10/20


  1. Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST)
  2. Bangladesh National  women Lawyer’s Association (BNWLA)
  3. Ain o Salish Kendra(ASK)
  4. Mossammat Nasrin Akhter


  1. Secretary, Ministry Of Health
  2. Director General, Directorate of Health


BLAST along with the Bangladesh National Women Lawyers’ Association (BNWLA), Ain o Salish Kendra and MossammatNasrin Akhter, a candidate for the position of health assistant, filed a writ petition challenging the arbitrary and discriminatory stipulation by the Health Directorate in an advertisement for the post of Health Assistant requiring all female candidates to submit an attested copy of their kabinnama (marriage registration certificate) with their applications. A notice inviting applications had been issued by the Health Directorate for temporary appointment in three thousand vacant posts and published in the Daily Ittefaq on 07.09.2003.  The petitioner, Nasrin Akhter, argued that she was effectively barred from applying for the post because she was unmarried, though she was otherwise eligible. The petitioners argued that the restriction imposed by the Directorate on the eligibility of female candidates was arbitrary, discriminatory and without any lawful authority, and violative of articles 27, 28, 29, 31 read with articles 10 and 19 of the Constitution. The petitioners referred to the Government’s obligation under the Convention on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), and the Fifth Five Year Plan of the Government (1997-2002) to ensure empowerment of women and the National Policy for Women’s Advancement.


Date: 21/10/2003


The High Court issued a Rule Nisi calling upon the respondents to show cause as to why the gender discriminatory requirement in the advertisement imposed upon the female candidates should not be declared to be without lawful authority and of no legal effect. The Court also ordered a stay on the operation of Memo no: Sha: Adhi: / Prasha -3 / Sha: Shoha: / Shonno Pade Nioger Charpatra /03/35822 dated 06/09/2003 for three weeks.


Mr Justice MA Aziz

Mr Justice Syed Refaat Ahmed

Area of law



Workplace Discrimination

Relevant statute

Constitution (Articles-10,19, 27,28,29,31);

Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEADAW)- 1979;

National Policy for Women’s Advancement

Date: 10/11/2003


The stay order was extended for a further period of 3 months.


Mr Justice MA Aziz

Mr Justice Syed Refaat Ahmed

Date: 10/02/2004


The Rule was disposed for non-prosecution following a settlement with the relevant Government Department which agreed to re-advertise the position without the discriminatory clause.


Mr Justice Md Abdul Matin

Mr Justice Syed Refaat Ahmed

Database Last Updated on: 2017-02-12 15:26:45